EU-US Trade Deal Starts Fifth Round of Talks

EU and US negotiators are meeting for a fifth round of talks this Monday  in Washington in their efforts to create a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Representatives from the Economic Policy Department in the Finance ministry advised that according to financial estimates from the European Commission, this trade agreement would increase the EU’s GDP by 0.5%, amounting to around €86 billion, while the US GDP will also increase by 0.4%, amounting to €65 billion.

The TTIP will also have a positive impact on job creation within the EU, providing 1.3 million jobs.

The agreement had three aims:  to enhance market access to goods and services, to develop a framework for dealing with regulatory divergencies and to discover new modes of cooperation between the two parties.

The free trade deal is seen as key to the much-needed growth and jobs, and has been a subject of debate in Europe. Just days before the next round of talks were to start, the EU Commission on Tuesday held a rare meeting with stakeholders, live-streamed on the internet, to explain one of the more controversial issues involving protection of foreign investors.

The leak of an EU paper on “regulatory coherence” provoked nearly 200 organizations from both sides of the Atlantic to draft a protest on Monday to the top trade officials (Karel de Gucht in the EU and Michael Froman in the US) regarding concerns that  “TTIP will have a chilling effect on the development and implementation of laws to protect people and the environment”. Another  issue – set aside by the EU for the time being – involves protection for foreign investors.

Critics say the agreement would limit a government’s ability to protect its citizens and the environment through regulation, and German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel has warned that inclusion of the so-called Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision could cancel out German support of a negotiated deal.

RCL Agencies will continue to monitor the situation and report further updates. Get up-to-date information from about global trade and international shipping from  RCL Agencies!